Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Battle

This morning, I was witness to a monumental battle.  This clash of might, tactics and instinct, was rather reminiscent of some prehistoric set-to and was fantastic to watch.  The protagonists in the fracas were a Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) and a Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris).  Fortunately (especially for Malcolm, who has a phobia of wasps), there have been very few wasps about this year, but one had started to buzz around me as I stood on the patio this morning, when suddenly it stopped buzzing and, looking to see where it had landed, I found it struggling in the spider's web.  Now, Garden Spiders will normally leave wasps well alone if they get caught in their webs, mindful of the potential harm from the wasp's sting and wait for the wasp to either extricate itself, or die trying.  But this spider was large enough and bold enough to approach the wasp, all the while keeping it at 'arms -length' and holding itself well away from the wasp's sting.
Quickly, the spider wrapped the struggling wasp in silk, while the wasp tried in vain to attack the spider with it's stinger thrusting out time and time again, but to no avail.  When completely subdued, the wasp stopped struggling and the spider was able to get close enough to deliver the coup de grace.  Sinking it's fangs deep into the unfortunate wasp, it was finally 'game over' for the insect and the victorious arachnid was able get its meal.
Whew!  All that excitement and it was barely 9.30...!
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